Saturday, April 25, 2015

Friday, April 24, 2015

closing up, leaving town

We'll be pulling out of town tomorrow at about this time.  The last week has been spent weeding out, tossing, packing to leave here, packing to take home.  Every year we get a little more systematic and discriminating;  do we REALLY want to save that 1/8 cup of dry black beans or could we manage to buy new ones next season?  That sort of thing.  I've taken inventory, made lists, committed them to my Dropbox so the same list will be on the "big" computer at home.

Mr. C made an unexpected quick trip to Tecoman this morning to buy the paint for the ugly wall.  We've planted the oleanders and bougainvillea with instructions to Omar the Gardener to water them faithfully and if any should die or mysteriously disappear to replant.  I'm hoping for a good hedge by next year.  Fernando will get on to the painting chore next week.

My report on last week's opera:  too Russian, too dark, too grim.  Tomorrow there will be two short operas, frequently performed together:  Cavalleria Rusticana and Paglacci.  Unfortunately our internet will have been disconnected so we'll miss them.  But the following Saturday is Verdi's Un Ballo in Maschera.  But no shrimp salad to go with it, unless of course I cook them myself!

It has been a fine season even though we, again this year, didn't do any in-country travel.  Next year, we hope, with our own new-ish car we plan to buy.  But plenty going on here.  No nibbles on the house at all but there is so much property for sale here I'm not surprised.  Both houses and undeveloped lots sit idle and waiting.  But every time there's another outrage anywhere in the country we think, "Well, there's another 10,000 people who will never visit Mexico!"  Meanwhile, we'll just keep coming back until someone figures out this is a wonderful place to be.

Below are a couple of pictures that I never got around to posting.  Enjoy!

Papalotes in the tianguis  These are made of plastic.

These birds are the chattiest creatures. They have very melodic calls and talk constantly. This pair was in one of our trees in the back.  Frequently they hang out in the palm trees right outside our bedroom window.  I love hearing them.

We now turn over the care and feeding of our house to Fernando and Chuy and they always do a wonderful job.   Adios, amigos.  Next post will be from the US of A, jala

Friday, April 17, 2015

a very nice brunch

We had Blanche and Bob here yesterday for a "thanks a million" brunch; Bloody Margaritas, quiche, salad, Mr. C's coffee ice cream, all enjoyed out on the terrazza.  It was perfect weather for sitting outside.

Omar the Gardener will be here soon and we will finally plant the shrubs along the wall across the street.  It looks like we are not going to get that ugly edifice painted while we're here; we'll leave it for Fernando to do during the summer.  We'll buy the paint when we go to Tecoman on next Tuesday for our last round of end-of-season chores, i.e., haircut (50 pesos plus tip), bank (get out more cheap pesos), any provisions.  I've already started packing up things to be left here, things to go home.

Dago's tonight to get my shrimp for tomorrow's opera salad; Shostakovich's "Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk".  Never heard it.  I'll report.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

the last lunch

We went  up to Colima today to (a) check on the progress of the repair of the couch and love seat (remember those?).  The elusive Brenda said they would be done and delivered on Friday.  HAHAHAHAHA!  Where have I heard that before and how many times?  If not, the workshop is going to be the official storage place while we're gone and we'll get them in December.  I have photos for ID . . .

(b) Then we went out to Home Depot to buy yet another hose to take care of the watering issue for the new shrubs across the street.  When we got home Mr.  C connected it with the other hose and is satisfied with his purchase.  The new and the old together reach the new plantings just fine.

And (c) finally, a last visit to our favorite Cronos for an omelet (for me) and a spinach crepe (for Mr. C).  Be back in December.  I love the color of this wall; sets off the plants nicely.  I hope my efforts will be as pretty.

Brunch party here tomorrow to thanks Blanche and Bob for the shelter during the Easter crazies.  Then more packing, cleaning, stowing.  It's a lot of work to get out of this place.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Monday night at the beach

I didn't go to the tiangues this morning because I wanted to chat with Omar about the new planting across the street.  So Mr. C did the duty, came back with the usual cucumbers, onions, tomatoes, cilantro, oranges and mushrooms.  We're now set for another week.  Omar did arrive, we talked about what I wanted and he said he'd come back at noon  to dig the holes for the new bushes.  Then as he was leaving he changed his mind and said he'd be here at 4 PM.  Sure enough, he was here right on time BUT dug only 7 or the required 8 holed!  Well, you can't have everything.  When he returns on Wednesday I'll have him dig another one.  Then on Friday he will plant the oleanders and bougainvilleas along the wall across the street and, God willing, we'll have a beautiful hedge by next season!

A lovely sunset tonight.  We're only here for 11 more.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

only two more weeks

We have only two more weeks until we head home.  The village has survived Semana Santa and Pasqua and has gradually returned to its usual quiet.  There is one more happening tonight; Las Bandas, a sort of band jam that will be up at the north end of the malecón although we'll get plenty of sound.  We can surely live through it without too much trouble.

I also managed to get through another birthday without too much stress.   I shared it with a fellow Aires, Blanche, and that made it much easier to bear.  Together we had quite a fine party down at Chuy's puesto on Wednesday night.  About 30 of us gathered for dinner ~ grilled arrachera, fish and shrimp, veggie brochettes, the ubiquitous guacamole, chips, salsa.  And for dessert, very splendid, delicious and super yummy tres leches cakes.  They were from a bakery in Tecoman, Conchitas, and I will NEVER buy one anywhere else.

Balloons to decorate the place

The chefs; Bob (on the left) and Chuy grill fish, arrachera and veggies.

Delicious veggie brochettes

The other celebrant, Blanche, caught a bit off-guard!
It was really a nice party; good vibe, good food, good guests, good conversation.  Both of us felt we had been well ushered into our respective new years!

As usual, we went down to Dago's for dinner last night.  It was very crowded so we didn't linger too long.  But just long enough to see the ice cream man with his little cart on the beach . . .

 . . . and to get a look at this enterprising group that had dug themselves a "conversation pit" into which they put their low beach chairs, an umbrella and were having a fine time.  The only thing they had to worry about was the rising tide.  We left before that became a problem!

Around 9 o'clock last night Fernando came by and called my name.  I went out on the balcony and there, on the street in front of the house, were  musicians to render a lovely birthday serenade.

I tried to make a little video of their singing but by the time I figured out how to do it they were almost done.   I managed to get it up on my Instagram page but can't make it work here, and Andrew is in London and sound asleep right now and I just don't have the heart to call him for a walk-through!  Let me just say it was a very special treat and a nice end to what had become a week-long celebration!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

days two and three

I didn't get a chance to post last night before we headed down to the sweet quiet of the colonia so here's an update on yesterday and today's zoorama in our little Mexican seaside town.

We got back here yesterday morning at just past 7 AM.  Already the streets were jammed with beach goers, even though it was cool, damp, overcast.  Cars were parked on both sides of the street until we got to our road and then there was nothing.  That didn't last long, however.  By 11 AM it was solid on both sides.  The disco started at 9 AM and went, NON-STOP, all day.  At 5 PM, a second disco started up and the report from Jack is that it went until 4 AM this morning.  Meanwhile, we are sleeping soundly in the comfort and quiet of B & B's little casita

Thursday morning

11 AM on our street looking north
2 PM traffic jam at the end of our street

Tents, trucks, even an ambulance with a political poster on the side
I went down to the malecón at about 2 o'clock to just have a look around.  My conservative estimate is that there were about 20,000 people crowded along our beaches, as far as the eye could see in both directions and from the edge of the walkway to the water line, plus the mobs wandering along the center.  Mid-way down was a boxing ring (!) with yelling fans mobbed around it.  I stood watching this whole scene of unfettered humanity for a bit and then went home to absolutely marvel at the whole scene.  I do not remember in any past years when there were so many people here.  In fact, we have commented over the past few Easter holidays that the crowds were shrinking.  Even Chuy said she thought there were many more people this year.  Well, it's good for local merchants, who count on this season to make most of their yearly profit.  And a long as I have someplace to sleep I really should have no complaint.  But the disco starting at 9 is really a bit much.

We finally gave up and went down to sleep around 8, just to get away from the noise.  It's another, quieter, world down there.

When we got home this morning is was dead silent.  There were just a few people wandering around.  The cars on our street were leftovers from yesterday.  And the town stayed quiet until about half an hour ago when one of the discosstarted.  I think the whole town  was hung-over and sleeping it off.  I myself have not been feeling in top form for 3 or 4 days so I spent most of the day resting, reading, napping so I am ever so grateful for the quiet.  But now that I'm up, so is the disco!  An early light supper and then we zip off to our little hideaway for a quiet night.

I did listen to the opera today, Verdi's "Ernani" which does not end well for all concerned, of course.  Some truly magnificent music.  Placido Domingo was to sing the baritone part of Don Carlos, the king, but was "taken ill" and didn't appear.  Next week another Verdi:  "Don Carlos" (again with the Don Carlos, this one the Ernani Don Carlos' grandson; nothing like continuity!).

TV watchers' note:  Hilary Mantel's "Wolf Hall" appears on PBS Masterpiece this weekend.    If you're any kind of English history buff you won't want to miss it.  Even Mantel herself thinks it's been very well done.  Unfortunately I have to wait until I get home; I hope the Flix® will have it soon.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

day one, 2015 Semana Santa

This is what our street looked like this morning.

I wish I could send across the blogosphere the sound of this place now.  It's usually so quiet during the day except for the rustling of the palm fronds and the birdsong.  In the evening it's the sound of the surf.  But now it's dueling discos, car radios turned up as loud as possible as the drivers cruise the streets looking for a place to park ~ you can see that spots are hard to come by.  There's one music venue at the northern end of the malecón, at least one at our end plus the various strolling mariachis and other musicians.  Then there's El Faro, a restaurant of sorts, also at our end, that is right now blasting something that's so loud it makes my desk chair quiver.

Last night's disco began at 8, ended at 10:30, started again at 11:45 and finally went quiet sometime around 1 AM, but I had basically passed out by then.  But tonight it will be loud and long, but as I have said, we'll be fast asleep elsewhere.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

and so it begins

It's 9 PM and the disco has cranked up and will blast away for the next 8 hours.  Of course there's nobody here yet; they will begin arriving tomorrow.  Right now our street looks like this.  But a zillion amps lends a certain je sias quoi to a lovely spring evening, don't you think?

By tomorrow afternoon it will be a solid mass of cars, if past experience means anything.  A couple of things are different this year, however.  To the left of this photo there was a vacant lot that was a camp ground/open air loo (don't spend too much time thinking about that), and the triangular lot on the right was clear of any brush and debris.  Not so for either this year.  The Oasis Hotel has taken over the vacant lot, built a little kiddie pool, put up lots of palm trees, umbrellas and tables for the use of their clients.  Pluse they have also dumped a lot of construction debris on the lot (v. sneaky but who's going to complain?) to discourage campers.  Things might look a bit different this year.  Probably instead people will put up lean-to's against the ugly wall and sleep on the narrow sand strip.  We'll see.

There has been a lot of clean-up going on during the last two or three weeks in preparation for the flood of visitors.  They even filled in some of the killer pot holes on the entrance road.  Because of the heavy rains we had last month the mosquitoes have been relentless.  Last week the spray truck came through and things got much better, but then the next generation hatched out and it got very bad again.  Again tonight the spray truck came through and we hope it will bring relief!

We usually race around shutting all the doors and windows to keep the stink out.  But not tonight; we left everything open in hopes of killing off any creatures in the house.  The last time they sprayed Mr. C went downstairs the next morning and found the terrazzo  covered in mostly mosquito  corpses.  That's good.  But the bad thing is that it kills everything, good and bad, including bees which we desperately need in the garden.

Tomorrow night we'll go down to sleep at friends' house in the colonia to get away from the "music".  Both of us have been sick for the last couple of days (I actually missed yesterday's domino game) but I'm hoping we'll have recovered sufficiently by tomorrow.